1 minute lecture.
Composed of heterogeneous symptoms, fibromyalgia is a complex disease that is still difficult to understand. According to the results of a new study, this disease can find its origin in the nerve fibers of our body.
Fibromyalgia is a disease that affects between 2 and 4% of the population and affects more women than men. It is characterized by chronic diffuse pain without apparent causes, chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances and numerous physical complaints. Frustratingly, this group of atypical symptoms makes diagnosing fibromyalgia difficult.
Nerve fibers are affected by the disease
To make things better, scientists regularly research the topic to try to identify a reliable diagnostic component. This is how the association between fibromyalgia and damage to nerve fibers of the somatic and autonomic nervous system has been demonstrated. Schematically, we distinguish in humans:
- The somatic nervous system regulates the sensation of pain and itching and in particular that of diseases and injuries;
- The autonomic nervous system is an internal regulator for the proper functioning, and regulation of our organs.
In this meta-analysis, published May 3, 2022 in the journal DiagnosisIn this study, researchers from Sapienza University in Rome, Italy, evaluated data from 903 patients with fibromyalgia, across about 20 existing studies. Work allowed them to determine the frequency with which nerve fibers were affected in this pathology.
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Result: Somatic nerve fibers were affected in 49% of fibromyalgia patients and autonomic nerve fibers were also affected in 45% of cases. Great proportions.
If this work appears to confirm the involvement of the fibers of these two nervous systems in the disease, the authors “The heterogeneity and inconsistency between studies call into question the exact role of small fiber deficiency in fibromyalgia symptoms..